Tony Hudgell: Abused boy’s father in prison attack after inmates assaulted him with ‘cans of tuna’

An abusive father who tortured his own child so badly his legs had to be amputated could now be due compensation after he was battered by two fellow prison inmates.

Tony Hudgell: Abused boy’s father in prison attack after inmates assaulted him with ‘cans of tuna’

Anthony Smith, 51, had 12 teeth knocked out after his attackers hit him with socks filled with cans of tuna during a two-hour savaging

Anthony Smith, 51, who is serving a 10-year sentence for child cruelty at HMP Swaleside in Kent, had 12 teeth knocked out after his attackers hit him with socks filled with cans of tuna during a two-hour savaging.

Smith, who abused little Tony Hudgell alongside his partner Jody Simpson, was tied up and assaulted with the homemade weapons by Michael Stewart, 31, and Nathan Odgers, 36.

The pair struck Smith repeatedly with their improvised weapons and tied him to his cell bed after he collected his breakfast.

Child abuser Smith could be in line for a taxpayer-funded payout as he was the victim of an attack while a prisoner. He could claim for both physical injuries and mental trauma inflicted. 

During the attack the inmates shouted that Smith should lose his legs and threatened to ‘chop off his legs’ – a reference to the appalling violence he inflicted on his son.

Tony was just four months old when he was subjected to vile abuse at the couple’s flat in Maidstone, Kent, in 2014. 

The youngster, now seven, lost both legs as a result of the injuries and his campaigning with adopted mother Paula led to a recent law change, dubbed Tony’s Law, could see abusers jailed for life. 

Tony, pictured above in 2020, was just four months old when he was subjected to vile abuse at the couple's flat in Maidstone, Kent

Tony, pictured above in 2020, was just four months old when he was subjected to vile abuse at the couple’s flat in Maidstone, Kent

The youngester, now seven, lost both legs as a result of the injuries and his campaigning with adopted mother Paula led to a recent law change, dubbed Tony's Law, could see abusers jailed for life

The youngester, now seven, lost both legs as a result of the injuries and his campaigning with adopted mother Paula led to a recent law change, dubbed Tony’s Law, could see abusers jailed for life

Stewart and Odgers reportedly told Smith to go along with their hostage plan staged in protest at being at the notorious category B jail dubbed ‘Stabside’ in the hope of being moved jails.

Both defendants later claimed Smith volunteered but he denied this.

A wardrobe was pushed across the door and the observation panel blocked with toilet paper as the pair demanded to speak to a governor.

Initially Stewart and Odgers did not know of Smith’s notorious crimes until another inmate shouted out who he was.

Stewart – who was serving 10 years for serious violence – and Nathan Odgers – who is serving 10-and-a-half years for a sting of armed robberies – then barricaded themselves in after tying Smith to the bed.

A prisoner was heard to shout: ‘He should have his legs chopped off.’

Smith was left needing hospital treatment for multiple teeth fractures and bruising after the brutal assault left the tuna tins ‘heavily dented’.

The two-hour ordeal happened in August 2018 – just six months after Smith and Simpson were jailed over their abuse – but it would take another 19 months before the CPS would authorise charges.

A judge at Maidstone Crown Court today said the delay was ‘extraordinary and unconscionable’ and cut their sentences by a year.

Stewart, who had links to Bedford, was given an extended jail term of eight years and five months and father-of-four Odgers, from Hastings, East Sussex, received an extended sentence of nine years and six months.

Tony was admitted to the Evelina London Children's in Southwark, south east London, in 2015

Tony was admitted to the Evelina London Children’s in Southwark, south east London, in 2015 

In December 2021 Tony met with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during their festive carol concert at Westminster Abbey

In December 2021 Tony met with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during their festive carol concert at Westminster Abbey 

Both men admitted charges of false imprisonment and assault causing actual bodily harm.

Judge Jeremy Donne QC told the court Smith needed 12 teeth replaced – although the pair were not responsible for all of the injuries.

He said he accepted the motive for the attack was not revenge but a desire to move to a different jail.

He ordered Stewart to serve an immediate jail term of three years and eight months and Odgers four years and six months.

The judge then ruled the two will also have to serve another five years on licence when they are released after serving two-thirds of the jail terms.

Little Tony’s suffering at the hands of his parents caused national outrage as his injuries were so horrific, including a hip dislocation and head trauma, the youngster had to have surgery to amputate both legs at the knee.

He has since learnt to walk on prosthetic legs and during lockdown raised over £1.2 million for the NHS and the hospital that saved his life.

Leave a Comment